Welsh Women’s Aid response to HMCPSI Rape Inspection 2019 Report
The sharp decline in charges, prosecutions and convictions for rape since 2016, as evidenced by this report, clearly demonstrates there are significant failings in the system that means rape and sexual violence have not been treated with the seriousness they deserve.
The HMCPSI Rape Inspection 2019 report shows what we already know from survivors, that there is a concerning and widespread practice of prosecutors making disproportionate, intrusive and unnecessary demands for mobile phone and medical records. Survivors in Wales have spoken to us about the re-traumatising experience of going through the investigation and court processes after reporting rape and sexual assault. That the criminal justice system also lacks the necessary resources to effectively investigate, charge, prosecute and bring perpetrators of rape and sexual violence to justice, is evident from the Inspectorate findings.
It is shocking that the HMCPSI are able to conclude that there is no issue with decision making by prosecutors when deciding whether or not to prosecute alleged rapists, when we have seen such a considerable disparity since 2016 between rape being reported and being prosecuted.
Survivors of rape and sexual violence deserve better. We support the urgent need for an independent review into the systemic failings in the criminal justice system that do such a disservice to survivors of abuse. We support the current judicial review underway into the CPS failure to prosecute rape. Without fundamental reforms backed by resources to deliver, the state will continue to fail to create real and meaningful change to enable survivors to access the justice they deserve.
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